Although calcium is essential for the formation of thrombin, it can be recovered quantitatively from formed horse thrombin without affecting its coagulating activity. Citrate also has no significant effect. As stated in the text, this does not exclude the possibility that thrombin is actually a calcium compound present in minute concentration; but confirming the results of Hammarsten, it does show that fibrin cannot be a calcium-protein compound unless one assumes molecular weights for fibrinogen greater than 1,000,000.
Although the available experimental data concerning the properties of thrombin, the kinetics of its reaction with fibrinogen, and the quantitative relationships between the two do not allow a definite decision as to whether thrombin is an enzyme analogous to rennin, or whether it combines with fibrinogen to form an insoluble compound, fibrin, the weight of evidence does favor the enzyme theory. A given quantity of thrombin can form at least 200 times its weight of fibrin, and in view of the crudeness of the preparation this ratio is probably many times greater. There is no apparent stoichiometric relationship between thrombin and fibrinogen, and thrombin does not disappear from a mixture of the two until the moment of coagulation; the quantity which then disappears is many times the minimal quantity necessary to form the amount of fibrin produced.